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238                  HISTORY OF PERSIA                 CHAP.
colleges, but, like Vambery, I award the palm to the
stately pile of Gauhar Shad.
The Madrasa at Khargird.—Near Khaf, on the Perso-
Afghan frontier, is situated a college which was erected
during the reign of Shah Rukh, as I learned from its
inscriptions. The-edifice was massively built and is still
in good condition, covering an area of five-sevenths of an
acre. It was designed in the usual form of a quadrangle,
with a noble gateway, and in the interior there were four
fine porticoes. The coloured bricks were still intact at the
time of my visit, but the exquisite mosaics were badly
damaged. I noted their colour as sapphire-blue, with
green, yellow, and white, the motive of the pattern being
conventional Kufic lettering. Fine dark-blue tiles with
conventional flowers in light blue, white, and gold had
originally covered the walls, the finest being great stars,
but these, alas ! had been almost entirely carried off". On
either side of the main gate was a domed building, decor-
ated with most artistic plaster mouldings. The panelling
consisted of dark-blue tiles relieved by hexagons of white
marble. This noble pile is now deserted and falling into
decay, but my visit made me realize what a dazzling blaze
of blue splendour it must have presented at the time of
its completion in A.H. 848 (1445).
The Mahun Shrine.—In the vicinity of Kerman, at
Mahun, is a beautiful shrine erected in memory of
Sayyld Nur-u-Din, better known by his title of Shah
Namat Ulla, who flourished in the reigns of Tamerlane
and Shah Rukh. The Shrine is entered by an imposing
gateway supported by two minarets, the predominating
colour of which is a bluish green. Two gigantic old
chinars or Oriental planes give that particular touch which,
in conjunction with the bright sunlight, shows tiles to the
best advantage. The oblong court which is first entered,
together with the gateway, was erected by Mohamed Shah
of the Kajar dynasty, and is consequently modern. A
second courtyard with old-world rooms lies behind the
first; it was the gift of Sayyid Nisa, a disciple of the
Saint. From this the blue dome is seen at its best ;
indeed, the main building, consisting of a central chamber